Attribution Issues are About to Make Your Head Explode!
This article by David L. Smith was first published by MediaVillage
Do you have issues with attribution? Determining which media or combination of media is responsible for conversion of a prospect is daunting, and the new media technologies that are rapidly growing are about to make it much more challenging.
For traditional media, econometrics modeling has historically been used for attribution. This is a look back method using sophisticated tools to measure various traditional media types on how their scheduling and weights have impacted ROI, sales or awareness, depending on goals.
For digital media, direct connection to the consumer makes the issue, while still complex, at least an apples to apples comparison. Digital attribution (MTA or Multi-Touch Attribution is a common tool) is necessary to give the various digital media types (search, display, video, mobile, social, email) the proper weighting in crediting the action that the campaign intended (sale, app download, site visitation, white paper download, etc.). Initially, the issue was credit for results between Search and Display. The need for new technology came about as many felt that Search, as often the last touch in the consumer journey, was getting too much credit for consumer actions. Fair attribution became even more complicated as companies tried to also include video, mobile, social and email in the equation.
Today, MTA and econometrics are both becoming more sophisticated with several companies working on solutions to bring these two concepts together into a solution which gives proper weighted credit to traditional media (TV, radio, newspaper, magazines, outdoor) and the six digital media outlined above.
Dr. Disrespect is a popular game streamer on Twitch, Amazon’s online video streaming service.
- Amazon-owned Twitch is now pulling in as many monthly viewers as cable news networks.
- In January 2018, Twitch had nearly a million people watching at any given point.
- Twitch primarily features live video streams of people playing video games, but the service has added other types of content recently.
Amazon’s $970 million bet on game streaming service Twitch continues to pay off – the service is now averaging more viewers than some major cable networks.
Here’s the new problem: By my count, the number of media options to measure is about to dramatically increase, much of it at the same time. These new media types include:
OTT/Smart TV/Advanced TV/Streaming
This is the combination of technologies which will move TV into the digital age, some are in market, and some are on the way.
OTT is “Over the Top of Cable”. If you have a Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Firestick or Google Chromecast, you have OTT.
Smart TV (according to Wikipedia) is a technological convergence between computers and flat screen televisionsets and set-top boxes. Besides the traditional functions of television sets and set-top boxes provided through traditional broadcasting media, these devices can also provide Internet TV, online interactive media, over-the-top content (OTT), as well as on-demand streaming media, and home networkingaccess.
Advanced TV is what some call Programmatic TV. Some of this is dumb, expressed as just a menu slapped over a digital presentation of avails you can buy. However, there is an evolution of this offering, which is happening now at different rates for different providers. First up is Data Enabled Buying. Imagine the power of Comcast set top data they have about you enabling buys on all NBC and Comcast properties. There is no question that the major DSP’s are rapidly expanding into this area and it represents the future for “scatter” and other short-term TV buys.
Other Consumer Life Integrations
Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)are something we have written about before, and they are a thing of the not far off future. Combine a self-driving car, with audio-based streaming services, ad a flat screen, and you have a great entertainment vehicle that, with a keyboard or voice controls could be used for email, conference calls, etc. Important to this, while it is a year or two off: most new media slice time from other media. This new medium is arguably incremental. Yes, it displaces drive-time radio and podcasts to some degree, but for many, it will be new time spent with media.
Netflix Pulls Viewers from LINEAR TV
Netflix has turned into the biggest competitor of not only streaming services, but broadcast and cable outlets, many of which have formulated plans to fight back against the streaming giant this year. And while Netflix is contributing to the decline in this season’s linear ratings, it is also simultaneously boosting the ratings of some of the shows it airs.
In the case of The show Riverdale (airing first on the CW and then available on Netflix), it meant (all platforms considered)…
- +60% in Total viewers season 2 over season 1
- +83% jump in the A18-34 rating
- +59% jump in the A18-49 rating
Internet of Things (IOT): I recall a speech 8 or so years ago by someone from HP where he predicted that there would be sensors everywhere and on everything. Of course, what he knew, (and we did not) is that HP was making sensors as an OEM ingredient for many companies. Now, we have the smart home, sensors in manufacturing, farming and many other parts of our life. The new media opportunities driven by this tech alone are staggering. And sensors will become an integral part of the other new media types in this article.
Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality/Mixed Reality: After many years of discussion, investment and development, these areas are finally happening. VR is more like video games and music with full immersion. AR is an overlay, like a much-evolved take on Google Glass. This is expected to take off in a huge way this year with glasses offerings from many companies. These glasses will give you greater detail on what is in front of you, including what is in a store you are approaching, and what promotions are running. Also by simply standing in front of a product on a shelf, you’ll discern the ingredients, usage, etc. MR is the combination of the two and boggles the mind.
Voice Activation: If anyone doubted this as a medium a few years ago, there should be no question now. Alexa, Google Home and others are quickly penetrating the home and replacing the keyboard for day to day I/O tasks. Screens are starting to appear on these and other voice-enabled devices that cause some to call it the “4th Screen”. It’s easy to see these devices in every room (there was a time when the average HH in the US had 7 radios).
In-Store Devices & Sensors: This is not a medium but it’s too important to not include here. It is a roll-up of media that will change the way we shop and the way that merchants sell to us. It starts with a login (soon automatic) from your mobile, wearable and AR device(s) when you go into a store. Amazon-like reminders (since you liked X…) prompted by sound and haptics will cause you to look up, down, right, left, etc. to see a product, get info about it, be exposed to a promo, etc. Tech such as cameras and sensors in the floor will also sense when you have spent time considering a certain item and do its best to convert you to purchase.
As you can see, the number of new media interfaces and interactions are boggling. Many of them enabled by sensors and devices. The flow of data, the difficulties in attribution and the commercial opportunities are enormous. In an article last week, Rishad Tobacawalla said that advertising would decrease by 30% in the next few years. Could it be that advertising as we currently see it will drop by 30% but that marketing opportunities in these new advanced media technologies will take their place?
More to come on all of this I’m certain…